Life On A Tightrope: A Story of Positivity from The Voice Israel’s First Palestinian Winner, Lina Makhul.

Photography: Jack Alexander
Hair & Makeup: Guy Tako

Words: Miles Holder

After receiving 62% of the overall vote, Lina Makhul first stormed to notoriety by becoming the first Palestinian winner of Israel’s, The Voice. Lina’s road to victory was not an easy one, however; during her acceptance speech Lina alluded to the cyber bullying that attempted to halt her ascension through the competition but emblematic of her always positive attitude, she mainly used the time to thank the Israeli public for voting in spite of their cultural differences.

That was 2013 and while Lina has made a name for herself in Israel, she is still relatively unknown on the global music scene – before today…With the release of Lina’s music video for track ‘Can’t Keep Falling’, FAULT travelled to Israel to photograph and interview Lina during her two-day music video shoot and to discuss just what it takes to become Israel’s most exciting new artist.

Meeting Lina, she is outgoing, fun, bubbly and talkative but despite her “devil may care” attitude, it’s clear that beneath her outward demeanour, she is an extremely focussed, business minded and determined musician who is no stranger to a hard work. Day one was a nineteen-hour video shoot in the middle of the Judean desert and not a minute went by when Lina wasn’t hard at work.

 

 

 

FAULT: How do you stay so positive?

Lina: I love doing what I do and I’m always positive because I’m living my one true dream.

Becoming the first Palestinian to win a major singing contest in Israel’s history while, a great feat, it also came at a price. Lina’s win saw her became the shared success story of two famously opposing houses – a large weight to bear for any nineteen-year-old.

 

FAULT: The Voice wasn’t the first time in your life that you faced persecution. How did you overcome the challenge of connecting with the Israeli public?

Lina: If you want to get to people’s heart, you must first allow them into your heart. I couldn’t force them to like me, it was about opening my heart to the audience and allowing them to make a decision on me through what they saw. We’re all people at the end of the day and I think that’s how I made people forget about the typecasting and political undertones of my being on The Voice.

 

FAULT: Do you ever fall into the trap of trying to please everyone at your own demise?

Lina: Yes, but it’s part of the everyday struggle of being a Palestinian in Isreal. I’ve always made it my mission to prove that Palestinians are really no different from Israelis. Our culture and language might be different but at the end of the day, we’re all citizens of the world and should see past it.

When I won The Voice I was only nineteen and I barely knew who I was but despite that, I was trying to please everyone and that made it was very difficult for me to find myself. I was always so scared to upset a group of people that I would lose all personality. It’s different now and I’m tired of it – my opinion is mine and mine alone and if I can go to sleep happy with what I’ve said that day, then I will continue to live my life this way.

I’ve realised that I don’t have to be the ambassador of anyone but myself and because I am such a supporter of my Palestinian roots and Israeli/ USA upbringing, they will all be proud of me for striving for success in all of their names.

 

 

Listening to tracks taken from Lina’s upcoming album, it’s no doubt that Lina can sing. While there are often negative connotations with television competitions winners, Lina’s vocal range and rich tones, place her on a par (and in many cases above) that of contemporary western musicians. This is as true with her up-tempo tracks as it is with her more sombre ballads, but don’t take my words on it alone – FAULT’s previous cover stars Adam Lambert and Alicia Keys have both also taken a liking to Lina.

 

Lina: I downloaded Alicia Keys’ latest album and I loved it for how real it was. She totally exposed herself and revealed so much. Her song Holy War just touched me so much as an American born Palestinian living in Israel, I just needed to record it. I wrote out the words in Arabic and just put everything out there and sang about a number of modern day issues which were weighing on my mind. About a month later, my phone freezes and I’m so confused but it turns out that I was just being inundated with messages from fans that Alicia Keys had shared my version with.

I just love her, I’ve loved all her music and even when I auditioned for The Voice I sang one of her songs.

In 2016, Queen and Adam Lambert brought their tour to Israel and hand picked a local talent that would embody their own personal flare of individualism – that person was Lina.

I got the call three months before the show from my manager but I honestly didn’t believe it would ever happen. I thought “no way, they’ll cancel on me”. It didn’t hit me until the concert that it was actually happening. Queen, Adam Lambert, fifty thousand people and I was so scared but the minute I went on stage I just snapped into action. I closed my eyes when I started singing and when I opened them I had the whole audience singing back to me.

 

FAULT: You’ve also gone on to cover ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ mixing Arabic and English lyrics on your album.

Lina: After the concert, I fell in love with the moment and I wanted to cherish it forever. I went back to the studio and the minute we were done I said “excuse me for a second I want to do something” and I started writing lyrics in Arabic to add to the song and everyone loved it and it felt so good that the lyrics just came out without me even putting pen to paper.

 

 

However, the time for covers is over and Lina is ready to release her original material. Above you’ll find Lina’s first music video for ‘Can’t Keep Falling’ which was co-written by Lina herself.

 

FAULT: Now that it’s out, how do you feel about the track?

Lina: I just love the song and not because it’s my song, it’s just me and I’d love it even if a different artist was singing it.

While ‘Can’t Keep Falling’ is a perfect choice and released at the right time as we enter the summer season, Lina’s album is also laden with personal musical numbers, none more personal than the albums title track ‘Walking On A Tightrope’. The track conveys Lina’s musical journey and her diverse cultural upbringing as she sings in both English and Arabic. The beautiful song penned by the legendary Karen Poole.

 

FAULT: Tell us the story behind ‘Walking On A Tightrope’

Lina: It all started when I was recording in London with Karen and she turns and says, “I feel like your whole life story has been you walking on this tightrope. You’re from Palestine but you won The Voice Israel and now you’re here in London being very careful with the words you say and trying to please so many people” and it just got to me on a deeper level. My life is a tightrope, one filled with ups and downs and shaky moments but that is also true for many different people out there.
As personal as the song is to me, it also rings true for many other people from different walks of life and it’s that shared experience that reinforces the notion that we are all bound by our similarities and not divided by them.

 

 

FAULT: You have a lot of personal songs on the album, is it hard to put so much of your story out there for public scrutiny?

Lina: After The Voice I was so scared to put out music that I wrote; I didn’t want people to know how I really felt, I just wanted people to know what I wanted them to know and let that be it. Now, I need to share my life with the audience. I want them to know who I am. It’s a privilege to have people care about my opinion so I owe it to my audience to be truthful.

FAULT: And Lastly, what is your FAULT?

Lina: I’m impatient and want everything to happen straight away! When I record a new song, I just want to release it there and then and for my fans to hear my whole album straight away but I’m learning the importance of taking it slow and releasing when my music is perfectly me.

 

Returning back to the UK, there is no doubt in our mind that Lina has a bright future in music ahead of her. With a strong first single and many equally as strong follow-ups to come in the near future, Lina has all the potential take the European and American music scene by storm. Be it her empathic songwriting,
her continued messages of unity, her powerhouse vocal or her fierce yet endearing personality – while no longer forcing it, Lina will continue to be a musician to mean so much to many different people.

Find more of Lina on

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Pixie Lott Returns To FAULT Magazine For Our Latest Online Covershoot (Sneak Peek)

Shorts:  Dsquared2  www.dsquared2.com Top:       Gracia www.shopgracia.com Heels:    ASH www.ashfootwear.co.uk

 

FAULT fans will remember our FAULT Magazine Issue 19 Cover shoot with Pixie Lott where we discussed her rise to prominence in the music industry and the feeling of “knowing” you were born to perform. Now Pixie returns to FAULT on the day of the release of new single ‘Baby’ a collaboration with Anton Powers released through 3beat to discuss the new single and of course – her FAULTs. Tomorrow, Pixie will be premiering the single live on The Voice Final. To celebrate the new release, we’re previewing a snippet from our upcoming Online Cover story with Pixie to tide fans over until the big reveal – enjoy and watch this space for the full feature coming soon!

 

You’ve got a new single out today, what can we expect to hear?

It’s a dance track which is really exciting for me because it’s so fun and I just love going out. I’ve not released music for a while so it’s nice to do something fun with it – it’s a very different for me. My favourite kind of music always has a soulful vibe so to have a dance track to come out first is really exciting. That being said, I have an acoustic version recorded also where I really get show a more sombre version.

What was the inspiration for the track?

Just having fun really! It’s a collaboration with Anton Powers and we met each other years ago when I was in Ibiza with my friends from school and we said “let’s get in the studio” and it finally happened!

 

Bra:            Bjorn Borg www.bjornborg.com  Net top:     Miss PAP www.misspap.co.uk Leather:     Richards Radcliffe www.rachardsradcliffe.com Heels:        Chie Mihara www.chiemihara.com Trousers:   J.Kwan www.jkwan.co.uk

Last year you were in Breakfast In Tiffany’s the broadway show and tomorrow you’ll be on The Voice. How does acting on stage compare with singing on stage?

It’s completely different. I love them both and singing is something I’ll do forever and can’t live without where as acting is something that I really enjoy and I’m still learning. That’s what’s so exciting about acting is because you’re always learning and learning new techniques with your characters and always growing.

What is your FAULT?

I have LOTs of FAULTS! Time-keeping and forgetfulness, which really go hand in hand! I’ve gotten a lot better than I was but I guess it’s in my bones. My sister, is the complete opposite and everything is planned and organised whereas I am nothing like that.

 

FULL SHOOT COMING SOON

 

Words: Aimee Phillips

Photography Rossella Vanon

Styling: Rachel Gold @ Red Represents 

Make up: Christabel Draffin using Charlotte Tilbury

Hair: Enzo Volpe @ Mandy Coakley using Color Proof

Nails: Georgia Hart@Stella Creatives using Orly

Photography assistance: Jessica Gates

Retouching: Rossella Vanon and Alice Galiotto

Location: Huddle Studios

 

Alicia Keys Exclusive Covershoot and interview for FAULT Issue 23

Editor: Miles Holder l Photographer: Zoltan Tombor @ SeenManagement l Stylist: Chaunielle Brown l Make-up: Dotti using SK-II @ Streeters l Hair: Tippi Shorter @Fr8me l Manicurist Michelle Matthews l Styling Assistants: Nyjerah Cunningham, Steven Lasalle, Sphinx Rowe, Catherine Mekondo

We’re happy to finally be able to reveal our FAULT Magazine Issue 23 Front Cover Star, Alicia Keys!

It has been fifteen years since the release of her debut album ‘Songs in A Minor’ which scored the singer/songwriter five Grammy Awards and the name Alicia Keys is still a well-respected household name. Playing the role as Skye Summers on the hit TV drama, ‘Empire’, fans were able to see Keys display her acting skills and this autumn Alicia will return to our television screens for her debut season as a judge on The Voice USA.

FAULT caught up with Alicia Keys to discuss the new music and find out just what it takes to carve a long-term career in the modern music industry.

FAULT: What is different between the Alicia Keys releasing ‘Songs in A Minor’ in 2000 compared to Alicia Keys of 2016 working on her “best music yet”?

Alicia: One thing I appreciate hearing from people who have known me for years, is when they tell me “Alicia, you’re still the same.” Of course I’m not, I’m a woman now and much wiser and I have more understanding of my life, music and art but I am still the same spirit. Fearlessness and becoming more comfortable in my own skin and caring less about what I would say or do, was always at the core of my original work – now with all the life I’ve live and all the things I’ve learnt, I am still the very same.

Being a proven singer and songwriter, did that give you more confidence and flexibility with this LP?

I always feel confident in my ability to explore my vulnerability and to do something that I’ve previously never done in hopes that it was going to take me somewhere. As opposed to being too controlled and forced to make it something that’s not. I definitely created this album with real purpose and intention to talk about things I’ve never talked about before.

 

FAULT: You’ve always fought for respect through your music with tracks like ‘Superwoman’ or “A Woman’s Worth’, are you also touching on these issues in the album?

I just feel women are the most magnificent species. We are the creators and closest to God. There’s so much to learn about what women go through and what women of colour go through and what womanhood just puts on you. There’s so much to face and learn, so much still to be respected and so much equality still being withheld. The desire to talk about it and discuss the inequality is there, and it’s definitely a theme for me and I have a desire to talk about it on this album and just go further. I just can’t wait for people to hear it.

 

 

FAULT: We recently lost Prince and who admired you enough to allow you to release a cover of his song and someone you inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame, did it come as a great shock?

It was definitely a great shock and I am still taken aback. I feel like the whole world feels the same. He was definitely an enigma and will always remain that way. He was so fiercely dedicated to the greatness and expanded the level of excellence and that’s what should always be maintained. He pushed himself and I’ll never be as good as Prince but in a positive way. No one can be Prince, he’s the only one but that’s the beauty of him. He set the bar so high that we all have something to strive for.

 

What is your FAULT?

I’m learning to try and let go of the word “perfection”. It’s not real and it’s a word that tears us down. There is no way to be perfect and no fun in being perfect. You can’t be happy unless you let yourself be vulnerable and make mistakes because we’re always evolving. No one knows it all and I damn sure don’t know it all! I force myself to look in the mirror and own who I am and to own MY beautiful. So what that I have breakouts or so what that my knees are pudgy, there simply is no perfect. Once I can teach myself that there is no perfect and that I am meant to have my FAULTS, that is when I become beautiful.

[We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.]

 

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 23 – THE ART ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE FOR ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

Boy George Photoshoot & Interview For FAULT Magazine Issue 23 Cover

 

Within the court of British pop royalty, Boy George sits on top of a (impeccably decorated) throne. Throughout his decade-spanning career he’s topped charts, collaborated with superstars, travelled the world and seen more than his fair share of controversy. He can now be found judging Britain’s latest batch of new talent on BBC One’s The Voice.

Boy George appears on the cover of FAULT Magazine Issue 23 (available for preorder now). 

 

Boy-2 

Congratulations on your work on The Voice so far. Did you have any reservations about joining the show? 

Not really. I think my only reservation was how involved I would be with the people that I chose; whether I could have any kind of impact on what they did. And, to my surprise, it is very interactive. You can get as involved as you want to.

 

 

You’ve had your fair share of demons: drugs, incarceration, negative press attention. How has this shaped you and your music?

Everything that happens shapes you and influences what you do, but I don’t tend to focus on the past. Why would I look back? Difficult things inform my writing but – if you want other people to move on – then you have to move on yourself… I try to live in the now – it’s the only sensible time to live. Living in the past or future is a bit insane: sometimes, in relationships, people spend all their time worrying about what the other person’s thinking or feeling, and get so engrossed in it that they miss living. I think it’s important to live in the now and not focus too much on what went wrong. Just learn from it and move on.

boy-george-3

What else does the future hold in store for you?

[Culture Club} have got a tour coming up in the summer. I’m also doing stuff on my own: I’ve got a tour with Cyndi Lauper in about a month on the East Coast of America. At the moment I’m trying to build my empire, so anything’s possible.

 

Who excites you musically at the moment?

I really like Christine and The Queens. The music they make is really beautiful. It’s in French though, so it’s a bit difficult to understand, but you don’t really need to. I’ve also been getting back into Kate Bush: recently I came home, laid on the floor and listened to Hounds of Love in it’s entirety, and it was wonderful. You can really learn from the way people made records in the past. People had more freedom.

I like Stromae as well: I think he’s the best pop star at the moment. He’s really androgynous, and really out there.

 

Finally, what is your fault?

Where do we start! My weakness is probably…bread! Haha – I have no patience. I’m completely impatient.

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 23 – THE ART ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40